London: Ireland’s Parliament has passed a landmark legislation to make abortion legal for the first time in the Catholicmajority country, a “historic moment” which came after an Indian dentist died from blood poisoning in 2012 when the doctors refused her repeated requests to abort the foetus.
Ireland voted decisively to change the Constitution to repeal the Eighth Amendment in May, with 66.4% voting in favour of new legislation to allow for the termination of pregnancies.“The bill that allows for the introduction of abortion services in Ireland has passed all stages of the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament) and will now go to President Michael D Higgins to be signed into law,” Irish Broadcaster RTE reported on Thursday.
The new development has come following a rising number of distressing stories about women unable to get an abortion in Ireland.One of the high-profile cases was that of 31-year-old Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar, who died in agony from blood poisoning after doctors refused her repeated requests for an abortion while she was having a miscarriage at a Galway hospital in 2012.
Her death helped “personalise” the debate around abortion, said a legal scholar at Trinity College Dublin. “This is a genuinely historic moment. It paves the way for the implementation of the service for termination of pregnancy in January 2019,” said Minister Harris.
The Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill allows for abortion services to be provided “on demand” up to the 12th week of a pregnancy, in the case of a fatal foetal abnormality or where the physical or mental health of the mother is in danger.